DEL Reports on first Licensed Center Advisory Subcommittee Meeting

DEL Reports on first Licensed Center Advisory Subcommittee Meeting

The Department of Early Learning recently issued a report of the first Licensed Center Advisory Subcommittee meeting in February. WCCA Vice President, Perry Langston, had some poignant comments to make about the goals of the subcommittee, as quoted in the article.

 

The full article from DEL Connect:

The members of the Licensed Center Advisory Subcommittee (LCAS) met for the first time last month in Renton. The full-day meeting was held February 20.

LCAS is a subcommittee of the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC), which addresses the overarching topic of early learning in Washington state. This subcommittee is tasked with identifying and addressing the unique needs and concerns of licensed child care centers in Washington state.

About 30 people, including subcommittee members and DEL staff, attended the first meeting. Among the key concerns for licensed center representatives were recognizing the diversity of child care centers and supporting centers as small businesses.

“As we move forward in this industry we have to ensure we do everything we can to support small businesses,” said Perry Langston, an LCAS member who has been in the child care industry for 30 years. Langston also serves as vice president of the Washington Childcare Centers Association (WCCA).

“We want to be part of the solution,” he said. “If we are willing to adapt to change, to work and collaborate, then I see all kinds of success coming down the pike.”

At the same time, he emphasized that the main focus should be on the children.

“We watch the most precious thing in people’s lives – their children,” he said. “They need to be in an environment where they can live, laugh, love, and learn.”

The primary goal of the meeting was for members to introduce themselves, discuss the subcommittee’s purpose, and develop shared norms and a mission.

With that in mind, one of the first tasks of the LCAS is to develop a work plan for 2018. Some of their tentative priorities include improving communications about regulations changes, building a resource network for at-risk kids, and addressing new education requirements.

“We live and die by the rules being made,” said center representative Renee Hernandez. Hernandez also noted the importance of meeting the individual needs of different centers.

“We don’t want to be reactive anymore,” agreed fellow subcommittee member Julie Schroath. “We want to be involved.”

The group also heard an update from DEL Assistant Director Frank Ordway, who discussed the current legislative session and the upcoming Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

The next in-person LCAS meeting will be held in May. The location has not yet been determined.

The LCAS is currently recruiting members from the following regions: North Central, Olympic-Kitsap Peninsulas, and Southeast (for the regional map, click here). If you are interested in joining the subcommittee, contact slc@del.wa.gov.

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